The 22nd year running of the Northern Maine soap box derby race is this weekend.
Saturday, June 17th the dual purpose race happens in the Shiretown of Aroostook County, Houlton Maine. This race is the local for northern Maine and also serves as the venue for the state competition.
Where gravity racers that put together kit cars put them to the test.
Down "Derby Hill" where race cars are transported after safety checks to topside.
Where lift, heavy unloaded soap box derby cars are rolled through the steps prior to launch. When Andy Sloat, long time volunteer asks "Drivers, are you ready? We have a green light from the bottom". Then the lever is pushed forward and a pair of cars in the current heat roll out of the channel iron gate.
The soap box derby car release happening over and over as the kids get pulled up through the heat sheet groupings. To land in the medal round. To eventually be handed the well deserved, hard fought for checkered flag, the tall trophy. That goes to the boy or girl who gets to represent Houlton Maine, the state in the big national race held yearly in Akron Ohio.
Last year the super stock derby racer in the Houlton Maine race won the All American race!
Video link for her welcome home Maine soap box derby celebration. A past rally racer who earn his way to Akron on points also scored runner up to the winner in their division which shows the strength of lessons learned on Derby Hill in Houlton Maine.
But first things first. Back to the race process up at topside. Derby cars passing through the garage launch building built with funds like the engineered hill from our local Houlton Rotary Club, many others.
The weather man is a little concerned about this Saturday's race. I hope tomorrow's atmospheric conditions don't create rain for trial runs during tech day leading into the soap box derby conditions.
No more set up, tear down Drakes Hill, Derby Hill is one beautiful race course so easy to build, tear down.
That's the main reason, the make or break factor on why the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby program has grown and lasted the test of time. Derbymania, like NASCAR racing without the high octane exhaust smell or high pitched engine whine in all those left hand fast turns. Except straight down the hill, to find the shortest line, to hug the cones with lazer like accuracy every trip down lane one or two. Read full article on the state race, the Northern Maine soap box derby.